The desire to learn a new skill or polish an old one for better employment prospects inspires many adults to enroll in community colleges. However, being away from school for a long time or having struggled in K-12 schooling, can make that transition back to the classroom difficult for adult students. As part of enrollment, they take an entrance exam, and if they do not perform well one the English Reading and Writing portions, they may be identified as "illiterate" in Academic English, and are required to complete developmental education classes in order to begin their college courses. While English is their native language, the formal dialect used in educational and professional settings may differ enough from their home dialect of English that they struggle to communicate within these settings. In the developmental education classroom, students need the sociolinguistic education that will advance them into college level courses and give them the skills in communicative proficiency to present themselves as literate adults in academic and professional settings. A pedagogy drawn from Teaching English as a Second Language principles and practices is instrumental in facilitating the acquisition of Academic English, which is used to identify literacy, for those who speak a less formal dialect of American English. It is through the acquisition of the Academic English dialect that these students will find success in communicating within academic and professional communities.